DE NIRO PLAYS MADOFF IN ‘THE WIZARD OF LIES’
NEW YORK: For the second time in little more than a year, a TV film probes Bernie Madoff, the fraudster-financier who in 2008 made explosive news with his arrest for perpetrating a Ponzi scheme that ruined thousands of his clients at a cost of US$60 billion (RM259.3 billion) or more.
In February last year, an ABC docudrama starred Richard
Dreyfuss as Madoff and Blythe
On Thursday, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said the death was a suicide by hanging. It said a full autopsy had not been completed.
Soundgarden played at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night, and it had been scheduled to perform in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday at the Rock on the Range festival.
Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said officers went to the MGM Grand hotel and casino around midnight in Danner as his ever-trusting, unwitting wife Ruth.
Now HBO is presenting The Wizard of Lies, which, in marked contrast, takes a retrospective tack framed by its subject as he serves his 150-year prison sentence. It is a complex and penetrating examination of the havoc wrought not just throughout the financial world but also
By within Madoff ’s close-knit family. Robert De Niro is Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer is Ruth. Nathan Darrow and Alessandro Nivola are their two sons.
Director Barry Levinson said: “We weren’t just dealing with headlines. You have to get into the flesh-and-blood characters, not just the financial aspects. You got to get as human as you can: what is the dynamic between Bernie and Ruth, and between the two sons.”
“A lot of people had their minds made up about Ruth and the boys, and believe they were involved and guilty. I think we do a successful job in dispelling that,” said Pfeiffer.
“We had experts to speak to, sources of information so that was all good. I had certain physical similarities with him. So, I thought ‘This would be fun to do’. And that was it,” said De Niro, but he did not have a ready answer for how he grasped Madoff.
“In acting school, you never ‘comment’ on the character you play. You never think, ‘He’s a bad person, so therefore I’m going to do things to make him look bad’. That’s rule number one. You find a way for the character to justify his own actions.” AP
“They never pay, they never pay,” he joked. “How funny I was tonight and I don’t get a penny.”
Brooks stole the show from fellow Hollywood legends Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear, with whom he shared the stage after the screening on Wednesday. The four long-time friends star in the film, which explores what makes for a vibrant, active life after 90. Non-famous nonagenarians and centenarians are also featured, including a 101year-old competitive runner, a 100-year-old pianist and a 98year-old yoga teacher.
Reiner, 95, serves as host of the film, interviewing his friends Brooks and Lear, along with 95-year-old Betty White and 100-year-old Kirk Douglas.
They said the key was keeping oneself healthy and staying engaged with life by doing what one loved. The film and its subjects are vivacious and inspiring.
Van Dyke is still singing and dancing onscreen in the new Mary Poppins, in theatres next year. His advice was to “keep moving”. Lear is working on a reboot of his 1975 series One Day at a Time. Reiner said writing gave his life purpose, adding that he had just finished a book called Too Busy to Die. “I just say eat bran,” Brooks quipped. AP
(From left) Nathan Darrow, Robert De
Niro and Alessandro